NCAA

Tedford in tough spot with Cal's QB dilemma

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Tedford in tough spot with Cal's QB dilemma

Programming note: Watch Cal take on Washington State live from AT&T Park, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. only on Comcast SportsNet California.
What ever will the Cal Bears donow? Let me take you back to thoseinglorious years when Nate Longshore was the designated flinger for your sturdyGolden Bears. Accurate but not mobilewas the hew and cry from the old Blues.So, along comes Kevin Riley a little bit more mobile, but not asaccurate. Now comes the dilemma inBerkeley. Rileys gone and there are twocandidates for the job: Allan Bridgford accurate not mobile, and Zach Maynard mobile not accurate. This was a no-brainer for the coachingstaff: Give me mobile. Well, it turns out that mobileis a good thing but being mobile and unable to hit a moving target is not sucha good thing. Thus the dilemma.

I admit that for me this is adifficult yarn to weave. I like JeffTedford both personally and professionally and I have found Zach Maynard to bea bright, personable, and very athletic quarterback. The problem lies in the fact that sometimesthe right decision reaps the wrong results.Jeff Tedford made the decisionthat Zach Maynard was going to be his quarterback back in the spring. And he did it for all the right reasons. The day of the straight drop back passer isfast becoming only a memory. A cannonarm is not enough. A quarterback has tohave that great intangible escapability.Right choice, but perhaps the wrong guy.Maynard had some success at the University of Buffalobefore transferring to Calto join his brother Keenan Allen arguably the Bears best player. The cold reality is that what might work justswell in the MAC doesnt work so well in the Pac 12, and quite simply put,Maynard is overmatched at this level. Itall worked OK against Fresno St., Colorado, Utah and Presbyterian, but againstUSC, Washington, Oregon, and even UCLA, its just not good enough.Unfortunately this year Tedfordwas put in a position where he had to count on his quarterback to win gamesinstead of just manage them.Historically the Bears have been able to run the ball (witness thenumber of Cal running backs currently in the NFL), but with the early departureof Shane Vereen to the draft, suddenly the cupboard was left bereft of thecaliber of back the Bears had grown accustomed to. So defenses simply took the run away anddared Cal to beat them with the quarterback.Now weve come to that Its nottoo late portion of the season where the coach has to make a decision. One hes had to make before: Mobile but not accurate vs. accurate but notmobile. And just to compound the coachsdecision hes got the delicate balance of the team to deal with. Maynard is a good guy and well liked. And, his brother is the teams lynchpin. If you sit him, do you lose the team? If you dont sit him, do you lose more games?I dont know if Allan Bridgfordis the answer. Hes never faced livebullets as a Division I player. Jeff Tedfordhas faced this issue before when he replaced his starting quarterback inmid-game with a player whod not thrown a pass at a four-year college. The Bears lost that game at Kansas State, but thedecision was a good one.The quarterback was AaronRodgers. I cant help but wonder if thatthought isnt dancing in the head of the coach as he prepares for a game thatcould throw this season one way or another?

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report